Sometimes It’s Not Just Bipolar

Photo credit: Hernan Sanchez

Somehow, I got myself so stuck in my diagnosis that I didn’t see anything beyond it. I didn’t stop to think that whatever it was that I was so desperately trying to ‘fix’ could actually have nothing to do with bipolar at all.

That something more could be going on.

It goes like this. Fatigue and depression just happen to come with a downward spiral, and this particular bout of fatigue and depression had been my dreary tune for over a year (which is long for me). But I just figured it was bipolar compounded by grief, compounded even further by PTSD, and even though I had started pulling myself out of the darkness purely through gratitude and meditation practices, it still wasn’t shifting completely. I still wasn’t waking up feeling amazing and in love with life. I still had to coax myself into a lighter space on a daily basis.

And then my doctor hosted a series of talks about wellbeing, the mind, and energy, and finally it dawned on me that maybe this time it wasn’t just the bipolar, maybe this time it was something else running alongside it.

And it was something else. Or rather, a whole series of little something elses. Blood tests and various assessments revealed a whole system out of whack. A bunch of little easy-to-fix things that had nothing to do with bipolar.

And so on doctor’s orders I started making some more lifestyle adjustments (like 15 minutes a day of sunglasses-free time for a vitamin D deficiency, and putting my night owl back in her tree for the lagging effect my upside-down sleeping patterns were having on my body). Doc also had me adding some new supplements to my schedule to help things along, and reigniting my therapy sessions with a particular focus on de-stressing my surprisingly high stress levels.

Feeling better, feeling more me, wasn’t so much hard work anymore. It slowly started getting easier and easier to feel okay.

The gratitude. The meditations. The therapy. The diet and exercise and sleep. The sunshine and the stillness. The supplements and medications. All of it was finally starting to feel like it was falling into the right rhythm.

Like the beginnings of an intricate symphony of wellness …

Because sometimes it’s not just the bipolar.

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